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28 July, 2022

#21 Portret van een vrouw in de financiële sector: Ruth Verstraete

 “The pessimist complains about the work, the optimist says it will get better and the leader changes the sails.” 

This is a quote that compliments the way I fit into certain situations and how I think I am perceived as a leader in my role. It’s so important to be flexible, to look for solutions. You should not sit and relax and wait for things to happen. Flexibility and working with a strong support system is imperative for success. I am a strong believer in communication and collaboration within a team, and this is what has motivated to work in this domain for almost 20 years.

I have always had a keen interest in mathematics and figures from a young age. Although I had the dream of becoming a lawyer as a child, I knew that my strength lied in analysing the numbers. When the time came to choose what exactly I wanted to study in university, it was not yet that clear what I wanted to do in professional life. I applied for a general economics degree and in my final years I found my niche in financial mathematics. This was the trigger to continue studying as an actuary. I continued that passion for understanding and explaining figures.

Life doesn’t have any predefined patterns. When I started in insurance, I really did not think to become a risk manager. Things evolved and I took the opportunities that came along the way and found myself in amazing roles that I would not even imagine getting into to. My general driver and motivation is really the passion for my job and for what I do.

Finance is a broad name for all of the functions and activities this sector presents. It is for sure not only men in grey suits crunching accounting numbers. The world is changing, and the sector is more dynamic than ever. Women also have their place in the financial world and there are so many opportunities for us to grow! We add a bit more colour into the general environment.